Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It's not technically a run-on sentence, but...

Maybe it's too long....?

During a semester abroad learning the traditional music of a little country tucked away in the stans of central Asia, the students' own ambitions and desires get mixed up with the local political intrigues for a fabulous exotic adventure!

What do you think? Should I split it up somehow? Or otherwise improve it?

*** update ***

I think I'll go with the Exterminator's improved version:

While abroad in Asia studying the folk music of a little country tucked among the -stans, the students become embroiled in political intrigues and exotic adventures.

Thanks Exterminator!!! That's much better than what I had come up with!!! :D

Actually, it would be cool to have a whole paragraph, but I probably shouldn't push my luck... ;^)

What I'd like is a description like the first paragraph I wrote about Kindred Spirits or like the first half of my review of Brother Brigham, but it's tricky to write such a thing about one's own work. Author's myopia, perhaps?


King Aardvark said...

If anything, you should make it longer.

beatdad said...


My DW has proclaimed me king of the run on sentence so I can't help you.


The Exterminator said...

May I suggest:
One fine morning in the month of May an elegant young horsewoman might have been seen riding a handsome sorrel mare along the flowery avenues of the Bois de Bologne.

While abroad in Asia studying the folk music of a little country tucked among the -stans, the students become embroiled in political intrigues and exotic adventures.

John Evo said...

Sounded fine to me, but Ex is the editor.

Alon Levy said...

Nix "The stans of" and you're fine. In most definitions of Central Asia I've seen, all its countries are stans.

The Exterminator said...

No Evo and alon, the sentence wasn't fine.

I see I'm going to have to give a grammar lesson here. What's the subject of the sentence as originally written?

You may think it's "students," but it isn't. It's "ambitions and desires."

So the original sentence says that during the semester spent abroad by ambitions and desires, they get mixed up ...

I don't think that's what C.L meant to say. If it is what she meant to say, she oughtta reconsider.

And, just FYI: "fabulous" is an empty, filler word. Its use actually creates the impression that the adventure probably isn't so fabulous. A skeptical reader sees a piece of puffery like that and thinks, "Ummmmm, listen honey, I'll decide if the adventure is fabulous or not, OK?"

JohnR said...

What's the context? How about the audience and purpose? Does this fit stylistically with the rest of the writing?

Is it just a short marketing blurb?

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks everyone!!!

Alon -- I was just trying to be funny, but if it's not funny, I'll nix it.

Exterminator -- lol, of course I thought of the "flowery avenues of the Bois de Bologne" as I was standing on the train platform trying to compose this in my head. I originally had more adjectives and sub-clauses, but I axed a lot of it. I realize "fabulous" is mostly meaningless, but it means something to me (see I'm not fabulous), and seems to fit the story. However, if you think it comes off as just filler, I can see getting rid of it. I'll think about your recommendations -- thanks!!! (p.s. I realize it's not fine the way it is, that's why I posted it in hopes of getting free editing suggestions... ;^) )

John R. -- It's a marketing blurb.

The Sinister Porpoise said...

I think it is a run-on sentence, but I tend to misues the comma and do the same thing.

Long sentences are not a bad thing unless you are doing journalistic writing.

John Evo said...

The Exterminator exudes his wisdom: No Evo and alon, the sentence wasn't fine.

Since all I said was, "it sounded fine to me" (rather than "the sentence is fine") - you would be wrong! That is, unless you also know what sounds fine to me.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Sinister Porpoise!!!

I think long sentences aren't necessarily bad, but the original sentence I wrote was wordy to the point of being awkward...

Hey John Evo!!!

Good point!!! :D